Facebook held its virtual reality labs Connect event on Thursday, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company would be rebranding as Meta and showed off his vision of a metaverse that inspired the name change.
During the prerecorded livestream, we saw the company’s plans for Oculus VR, which included a tease for a new high-end headset, the addition of a more customizable home space, and fitness-focused accessories, as well as a VR remake of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. We also got to see a lot of videos that involved virtual avatars going to concerts, playing ping-pong, and more.
Since the stream ended, more details have come out about the company’s rebranding, including that the Oculus name would be replaced and that the company had changed its office’s iconic sign. The Verge reporter Alex Heath interviewed Zuckerberg to talk about the motivation behind the name change.
There’s sure to be more information coming about Facebook’s rebranding and its potential ramifications, so stay tuned here for all the latest news about Meta.
Oh, and if you’re still confused about what the heck a metaverse is, check out our excellent explainer.
Amid the fluff, Meta showed an impressive demo of its Codec Avatars
Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, held a presentation today where it announced its rebranding and showed off what it imagines the future of computing will look like — but amid all the fluff, it actually had some interesting tech demos. The first showed off its life-like Codex avatars and an environment for them to exist in, which the company says was rendered in real-time and reacted to real-world objects. Mark Zuckerberg also talked about the company’s work with neural interfaces that let you control a computer just by moving your fingers.Read Article >
We’ll discuss the demos in just a moment, but it’s really worth seeing them for yourself. You can check them out on the Facebook keynote archive or on Reuters’ YouTube stream if you prefer that interface.
With Facebook’s change to Meta, what’s the new Big Tech acronym?
The company formerly known as Facebook just revealed its new name, Meta. And while that change brings a whole lot of questions, there’s one that many of us at The Verge have been pondering for about 30 minutes: how does the Meta name change the acronym used to refer to the biggest tech companies in one fell swoop?Read Article >
Before Thursday, FAANG — Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google — was perhaps the most commonly used one. But that acronym already doesn’t quite work. Google is technically a part of Alphabet now, so there should be a third A. (FAAAN?) It’s missing Microsoft, which is just as mind-bogglingly huge as some of the other companies. And you could argue that Tesla should be part of the acronym conversation, especially now that its market cap has surpassed $1 trillion.
Facebook’s Oculus Quest will soon be called the Meta Quest
Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is rebranding its hardware to match its new name. Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth announced that the company is phasing out its Oculus branding, including on the Oculus Quest virtual reality headset. Starting in 2022, the Oculus Quest product line will be known as the Meta Quest, while the Oculus App will become the Meta Quest App. The Facebook Portal video device is also getting rebranded to “Meta Portal” sometime in the next few months.Read Article >
“When people buy our products, we want them to clearly understand that all of these devices come from Meta and ladder up to our metaverse vision,” Bosworth’s post reads. That means retiring the name Facebook took on when it acquired Oculus in 2014. “We all have a strong attachment to the Oculus brand, and this was a very difficult decision to make. While we’re retiring the name, I can assure you that the original Oculus vision remains deeply embedded in how Meta will continue to drive mass adoption for VR today.”
Facebook’s famous thumbs-up HQ sign has been replaced with Meta
Facebook just announced that it will change its company name to Meta. The new name comes with a new logo, a blue M that looks kind of like a pretzel, and now that logo has replaced the iconic thumbs-up Like icon at the company’s global headquarters in Menlo Park.Read Article >
Here are two more images of it, taken by The Verge’s own Vjeran Pavic:
Oct 28, 2021
Mark Zuckerberg on why Facebook is rebranding to Meta
For the first time in 17 years, Mark Zuckerberg has a new job title.Read Article >
On Thursday, he officially became the CEO and chairman of Meta, the new parent company name for Facebook. The rebrand is about solidifying the social media giant as being about the metaverse, which Zuckerberg sees as the future of the internet. Zuckerberg is staying in control of everything. He told me in an interview that, unlike the founders of Google who stepped aside in 2015 when it became part of a holding company called Alphabet, he has no plans to give up the top job.
Oct 28, 2021
Facebook’s new name is Meta
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday at his company’s Connect event that its new name will be Meta. “We are a company that builds technology to connect,” Zuckerberg said. “Together, we can finally put people at the center of our technology. And together, we can unlock a massively bigger creator economy.”Read Article >
“To reflect who we are and what we hope to build,” he added. He said the name Facebook doesn’t fully encompass everything the company does now, and is still closely linked to one product. “But over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company.”
Facebook teases ‘Project Cambria’ high-end VR / AR headset
Facebook is planning a high-end virtual and augmented reality headset codenamed “Project Cambria.” The device, which was teased briefly during Facebook’s Connect keynote, features cameras that pass high-resolution full-color video to the headset’s screens. It’s supposed to include cutting-edge features that Facebook can’t yet include in the Oculus Quest lineup, but there’s no price or exact release date yet — although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says it’s a “completely new” product that will sit at the “high end of the price spectrum,” and we’ll apparently see the device released next year.Read Article >
The device is focused on mixed reality applications and will include face and eye tracking, something Zuckerberg discussed earlier this year. It’s supposed to use optics that make it slimmer than existing headsets, as well as sensors and algorithms that help it reconstruct and augment the real world around you. The Connect keynote also offered a very brief glimpse of what it’s supposed to look like, seen above.
Oct 28, 2021
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is coming to Oculus Quest 2
During Facebook Connect 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is in development for the Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset. No other details, like price, release date, or even a brief snippet of the game running, were shown during the event. There’s a blog post up at Oculus’ site that confirms that the game is coming. It says, “This is a project many years in the making, and we can’t wait to show you more of it.”Read Article >
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, along with GTA III and Vice City are being remastered, and that collection is releasing on November 11th for several platforms. The company didn’t share if the VR version of San Andreas is based on the remastered assets or the classic PS2 assets (hopefully the former, not the latter), but we’ve reached out to Oculus for more details on this release.
Active Pack accessories prepare your Oculus Quest 2 for sweaty VR workouts
Facebook has announced the Active Pack, a set of fitness-focused accessories for the Oculus Quest 2 that are designed to help turn the VR headset into a piece of gym equipment.Read Article >
Included in the Active Pack are a set of grips designed to keep the Touch controllers from flying out of your hands when you’re, for example, doing a boxing workout in Supernatural. There’s also an easy-to-clean face pad, so you don’t have to gunk up your normal foam one if you use your Quest 2 for both exercise and entertainment.
Oculus users are getting a new metaverse home
Facebook is announcing a new, “more social” home space for Oculus users. Called Horizon Home, it looks a lot like the virtual home that people already have in their virtual reality headsets. But users will be able to invite friends to hang out and watch videos or start multiplayer games together, and they’ll eventually be able to customize their space, although that’s “a little further out.” Horizon Home will launch in an Oculus update soon.Read Article >
Home joins Horizon Worlds and Horizon Workrooms — as well as events app Horizon Venues, previously known as Venues — as part of Facebook’s “metaverse” hub. A video shows users getting pop-up messages inside VR games, as well as on their phones outside VR, then popping into the same virtual space. In addition to the Home update, Facebook is adding Messenger audio calls to VR, supplementing the text-only option it started supporting earlier this year.
Oct 28, 2021
Facebook is adding a mixed reality platform to Oculus Quest
At this year’s Facebook Connect, the platform revealed something called the Presence Platform, a new way for developers to create mixed reality experiences for the Oculus Quest virtual reality headset. It includes a suite of AI tools for developers that makes the mixed reality experience more immersive, helping to combine the virtual world with physical reality.Read Article >
The system includes three main tool sets: Insight SDK, Interaction SDK, and Voice SDK. Insight, which builds on the the Passthrough API that launched this summer, lets developers overlay virtual objects on the Oculus Quest’s passthrough video feed. Facebook is also adding a system called Spatial Anchors that will let developers “lock” a virtual object to a specific physical area so that object will maintain its position in the world. While the Passthrough API launched as an Oculus Quest 2 exclusive, Facebook tells The Verge that the new platform will support both generations of Quest headset.
Oct 28, 2021
How to watch the Facebook Connect livestream
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to deliver the opening keynote to the Facebook Reality Labs event, Facebook Connect, this Thursday, October 28th at 1PM ET / 10AM PT.Read Article >
The annual VR / AR announcement and live demonstration event is in its eighth year and was formally called “Oculus Connect” due to its focus on virtual reality technologies. With word on a Facebook rebranding looming, the event is the perfect stage for the 17-year-old company to announce big changes along with the possible announcement of a new “pro” Oculus VR headset.